Put That Hemp Away, Just Recycle Instead

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Photo credit: uOttawa

After spending a week in bed recovering from a nasty kidney infection (watching bad Ashton Kutcher movies, reading and sleeping) I am back at work! Of course, drinking enough water to become PRS’ very own Niagara Falls and begging for kidney rubs from my chair (a lazy boy would certainly optimise productivity). Anyhow, once at my desk, comfortably seated with water, the first step was answering a gazillion emails and step 2 was scheduling meetings to get this STARS business done with!

Now, don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love meeting new people and learning awesome facts about the university campus. But I’m still on the road of recovery here; I walk as fast as a turtle and the highlight of my day is going back to bed.

Last Friday, I had the pleasure of meeting Andrew Zlotorzynski, a very friendly Environmental Health & Safety Officer in Gendron. As I came into his office, I shot out a joyful “Good morning Mr. Zloto….sky… ANDREW”. Fun fact is that the only other person working in that office was also called Andrew. But Andrew #1 was much more fun: thick polish accent, and absolutely enthusiastic about the chemical re-use program on campus. I couldn’t stop myself from giggling when he would spontaneously grab his phone and to call a co-worker in hopes of getting more information and I pray for the poor guy who was not at his desk and now has a five minute long message on his voicemail box. Andrew actually gave me more information and detail about this program worth only 0.25 points in STARS than others have given me for whole sections worth a gazillion points asking for legit numbers and descriptions.

I also discovered the government offered funding for anti-terrorist programs… something about chemicals that could possibly be used for harming nice people *shudder*. Anyhow, I was a prisoner of this man’s knowledge until we had googled everything that could remotely have to do with waterless urinals and the amount of caffeine in the sewer water.

In conclusion, people like Andrew make my job (and life) that much better and lighten the environmental mood. The motivation behind the program was definitely monetary at first (as chemical disposal programs cost a lot of mullah), but simply made more sense in the end. They created a web server and are now connected to three other universities: Concordia, Queens and the Royal Military College which all list their chemical products and can swap some quantities with other institutions (think of it as pokemon cards).

No need for a vegan diet, an electric car or to have your face in the next Greenpeace newsletter to make a difference. In the end, it’s just the small things that count. Saving the world is as simple as that.


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